Now accepting applications for incoming 2019 class. Please email for more information 



Welcome to the ARCH 1 Lab! The mission of ARCH 1 is to address the causes and correlates of health behaviors in majority, minority, and underserved populations.
Within our lab, we are interested in the biopsychosocial model that addresses the biological, psychological, and social underpinnings of any person's health behaviors and possible disease processes. By addressing these factors, our lab can prevent, control and treat various chronic conditions within a multidisciplinary paradigm.

The research from ARCH 1 will focus on quality of life, and biomarker domains for persons who are interested in improving or maintaining their health through physical activity interventions or longitudinal studies. These studies are designed for persons
with chronic conditions, sedentary, free-living, and/or underserved populations.

We are housed in a department of psychology, but understand that it is critical to work with researchers or incorporate studies from nutrition, kinesiology, epidemiology or public health, and medicine among others. Thus, our research and training is transdisciplinary.

Dr. Georita M. Frierson 


Georita M. Frierson, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist trained at The Ohio State University in behavioral medicine/ health psychology and quantitative psychology. Dr. Frierson completed her doctoral internship and post-doctoral training at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, RI. Dr. Frierson obtained her B.A. with honors from Hampton University, a historically black college/university (HBCU) located in Hampton, Virginia. She is currently the Department Head and tenured Full Professor in the Department of Psychology at Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ). While as Department Head, she is simultaneously the inaugural Director of the APA accredited (on contingency) clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Rowan University (since 2015).  

As an African American woman, Dr. Frierson is committed to diversity education and research training among all students in clinical psychology. From 2005-2007, Dr. Frierson worked at The Cooper Institute as Scientific Director and Executive Director of The Cooper Institute Oak Cliff Center. The center facilitates recruitment of underserved, under-represented, and diverse populations in the Oak Cliff and South Dallas communities for The Cooper Institute’s research studies. She was also the Director of Diversity Programs and Research Initiatives at The Cooper Institute. From 2012-2015, Dr. Frierson was the Director of Clinical Training (DCT) for the first and longest running APA-accredited clinical psychology program at an HBCU (Howard University in Washington, DC). As Howard University’s DCT, she mentored over 40 racial/ethnic minority masters and doctoral students in research and professional development areas. Under her leadership, the clinical psychology Ph.D. program was re-accredited by APA for a full seven years in 2014. Finally, the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Rowan University received the full 3 years of APA accreditation on contingency on April 7th, 2019 under Dr. Frierson’s leadership as well.

Dr. Frierson’s commitment to quality graduate training and mentoring diverse (broadly defined) students is also evidenced in her Rowan University and national work. In fall 2018, Dr. Frierson was appointed to Full Professor and Department Head of the Psychology Department at Rowan University. Since 2015, she has held the inaugural DCT position of the newly formed Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at Rowan University. Dr. Frierson was also appointed Dean’s Fellow of Graduate Education for Rowan University’s College of Science and Mathematics/School of Health Professions (CSM/SHP) for the 2017-2018 academic year. As Dean’s Fellow, she drafts CSM/SHP graduate program policies, participates in graduate student appeal hearings, assists in dissemination of CSM, SHP, and University graduate program policies to graduate program coordinators, and represents the interests of CSM/SHP graduate programs in various University arenas. At the national level, Dr. Frierson previously held national positions as chair for APA’s and SBM’s diversity special interest groups. Presently, Dr. Frierson is a Commissioner for the APA Commission for Accreditation where she has co-chaired five program panel reviews and was the co-chair of Annual Report Outcome Data/Research working group (2017-2019). In 2019, she has started her second 3rd-year term as a commissioner representing the organization, COGDOP. She is also the Chair of the Training Committee for site visitor and accreditation application trainings for Commission on Accreditation. More recently, Dr. Frierson was appointed as IT Director for CUDCP and to the Associate Editorial Board for APA’s prestigious Training and Education in Professional Psychology journal.

In addition to her commitment to ensuring the quality of clinical graduate training and diverse student mentoring, Dr. Frierson has a productive research career. The two foci of her research with medically underserved populations is in 1) cancer education and control and 2) physical activity randomized controlled interventions or longitudinal designs. Dr. Frierson has amassed knowledge of both theory and empirical findings in health psychology and internet based research, rendering her uniquely qualified to provide health behaviors and cultural sensitivity education to clinicians and researchers alike. Her 35 peer reviewed publications have appeared in journals with broad audiences, such as Health Psychology, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Psychosomatic Medicine, Medicine and Science in Sports Medicine, and Ethnicity and Disease. She has also delivered more than 100 presentations, lectures, or forums on health behaviors and diversity topics relevant to students, scientists, health professionals, and communities.

Dr. Frierson is wholeheartedly committed to excellence by staying current in her programmatic line of research, graduate training policies and procedures empowering diverse and all students through graduate education. She is affectionately known as “Momma G” or Dr. G to past and current students and colleagues. Her interests in dance and Broadways plays – she recently saw Kinky Boots – gives Dr. Frierson a unique perspective while mentoring junior professionals.

Learn more about Dr. G:





Alex Jaffe is from Moorestown, NJ and graduated from Franklin & Marshall with a joint degree in Biology and Sociology. Alex has had a long standing interest in helping people and sees this profession as a great way of achieving his goal. Alex is a diligent worker who loves to work with others. When not studying / working, Alex likes to follow the Philadelphia sports teams. 

Victoria 1.jpg

Pierre Leon is a first generation American and in the future, a second generation psychologist. Pierre holds a Bachelors Degree from Montclair State University and a Masters Degree from William Paterson University. Pierre’s interest in the field of psychology is due to his father’s work with AIDS/HIV infected patients; helping them adjust and cope with their illness. Pierre hopes to complete his Ph.D and become a Clinical Health Psychologist, as well as become involved in academia in the near future. When Pierre is not studying or doing research, he is in the kitchen cooking and coming up with new recipes that have been inspired by Peruvian and Colombian Heritage. 


Victoria Ukegbu is a Nigerian-American born and raised in Balitmore, MD. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in Health Science and a minor in psychology. Victoria’s research interests are rooted in her understanding that the health of the mind and body are inseparable and must be treated simultaneously in order to achieve optimum health. She believes pursuing her Ph.D in Health Psychology is the best way to achieve her professional goals. She hopes to help expand the work of the ARCH1 lab with her interest in individuals living with diabetes/pre-diabetes and how physical activity interventions and culturally congruent therapy can improve mental state, adherence and quality of life. When Victoria is not working or studying, she is listening to music, writing or enjoying the company of friends.


 Savannah is a senior majoring in Psychology. She plans on attending graduate school abroad and receiving her Master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She loves reading and conducting research, therefore she is excited to participate in cancer research for the ARCH1 lab. Savannah spends her time learning, traveling, and dancing (not well).  


Nathanael Carbonaro is a junior at Rowan University, pursuing his undergraduate degree in psychology. He plans to attend graduate school for mental health counseling and wants to help people recover from trauma, PTSD, and addictions. He is excited to be a part of the lab because he loves problem solving and learning new things.


Larissa Thiele is a junior undergraduate student at Rowan University pursuing a degree in psychology. She is a dedicated worker and hopes to be able to make an impact while working in the Arch 1 lab. In her free time, she is a member of the social sorority Theta Phi Alpha and a peer mentor for the Psychology Department.  


Rebecca is a senior at Rowan, majoring in Biology and double minoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. This will be her first year working in the Arch1 lab as well as her first time assisting in research for the university. Rooted from her love for children, in the future, she hopes to carry out research to understand the causes of early childhood depression. In her free time, she enjoys being an active sister of Sigma Delta Tau, looks forward to a new Rick & Morty episode every Sunday, and spends all her money on concert tickets. 


Mikayla Santana is a sophomore undergraduate student at Rowan, majoring in Psychology with a Honors Concentration. This will be her first year working in the Arch1 Lab. Mikayla hopes to pursue a career in School Psychology, helping students who are at risk for failure or who have identified disabilities. In her free time, Mikayla enjoys reading, traveling, and going to concerts.